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Wednesday, 28 February, 2001, 00:43 GMT
Buffy episode 'too explicit'
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy: "Exceeded acceptable boundaries"
Cult show Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been rapped by TV watchdogs for being too sexually explicit for its early evening BBC slot.

Viewers objected to seeing sex and violence in an episode about the schoolgirl vampire killer, who uses martial arts to defend herself, broadcast at 6.45pm on 12 October last year.

The Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) ruled: "In relation to the sex scene, it considered that it had exceeded acceptable boundaries for broadcast at a time when young children could be watching."

The BBC said the show, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy, was shown early in the evening on BBC Two to appeal to a teenage audience.

Richard Blackwood
Richard Blackwood: "Non-aggressive" comments
In a statement to the commission, it added: "There was a sexual aspect to scenes in this episode but, in all these sequences, sexual activity was implied rather than depicted and more comic than erotic."

Complaints over swearing and offensive language used during the episode were not upheld.

In another ruling, the BSC did not uphold criticism about another show, in which a comedian called the Queen a "bitch".

It stated that Richard Blackwood was not being offensive because his comments were made in a "non-aggressive" rap-music style.

'Not a term of abuse'

The statement follows complaints from six viewers about Blackwood during an edition of the BBC satirical quiz show Have I Got News For You last October.

"Richard Blackwood was using the term as it is currently used, for example, in British and American rap music simply to mean 'woman' and not as a term of abuse," a BSC panel ruled.

The BSC said the remarks about the Queen, "which were non-aggressive in manner, would have been unlikely to have caused widespread offence".

It added that Blackwood's comment did not carry the force usually associated with the slang use of the word.

The Attachments cast
The Attachments cast: One was naked on a skateboard
A statement from the commission said: "The footage that sparked the comment, which showed the Queen looking on as visitors were swept away in a Chinese "wave watching" festival, was also cleared after a complaint that it was "disturbing".

But the BSC did criticise another BBC programme, the internet company drama series, Attachments, after viewers complained of bad language, nudity and drug abuse.

The first episode opened with a sex scene between two main characters straight after the 9pm watershed.

The BSC said the episode went "beyond the acceptable boundaries" for the time of transmission.

Mike: one of the main characters
Viewers complained Attachments included "offensive" scenes
But the BBC argued that the scene was "no more explicit than was necessary to establish the atmosphere of personal pressure" in the firm.

The episode, broadcast on 26 September last year, showed a computer programmer hard at work with his HTML - until viewers realised he was completely naked.

He then got up to make a call on his mobile phone while skateboarding - still naked - across the room. He called his boss, who was otherwise occupied in bed.

A total of 20 viewers complained that some scenes were offensive and unnecessary.

'Bursting with energy'

The BBC did concede that it went too far with explicit scenes in an episode about a cyber-squatter invading a website.

But it also said that the strong language used was an accurate reflection of the commercial environment, and scenes of drug use were supposed to show its instability.

The programme was made by World Productions, who also made twenty-something drama This Life.

BBC Two controller Jane Root has commissioned a second series. Ms Root has described the show as "nothing that has been seen before on British television" and bursting with "energy and drive".

See also:

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